After raising his winning flag in the Indian youth team in the Under-19 World Cup title 2008, Virat Kohli has come a long way in the past years. Not only is he the captain of the Indian cricket team, but also he’s currently the best batsman in all three formats of the world.
The road to success of Virat Kohli is imprinted on his body nine times. Each and every tattoo on Virat’s body has a special story to raise the curtains, to reveal something and signifies a turning phase the life of flamboyant Delhi batsman.
In the very first episode of National Geographic’s Mega Icons based on Virat Kohli, the Indian captain unveiled the secrets about all the tattoos on his body. The team of National Geographic spoke to various scientists and experts from the field of neurosurgery, development biology, brain-behavior research and intellectual science to describe the neurological and psychological concepts at work behind particular instances in Kohli’s life that made him where he is right now! According to him, “To be very honest, when I was young it was about being a little cool when I started to get inked but slowly I realized that this is something that gives me a sense of my own identity. And from getting a random tribal design, to getting Shiva on my forearm now, it is a reflection of how my life has gone where it stands today and what I think and see of life back then to now.”
Below is a list of Virat Kohli’s nine tattoos and their meanings:
1. Names of his parents:
Since childhood, Virat Kohli had the full support of his parents to dream something big and pursue the sport. The gentleman’s game, Cricket was introduced to him by his father when he was just 3 years old. The Indian captain inked the name of his parents to honor the bond he shares with them. “Purely because the connection that I have felt with them is something that is unexplained. It is a feeling, it’s not even something that can be put into words. Hence I wanted to make it a part of me until I’m alive.”
2. Lord Shiva:
On the forearms of Virat, there’s a tattoo of Lord Shiva meditating at Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar in the background. Lord Shiva, who is the supreme divinity in Hinduism is referred to as the Destroyer of evil and the God of creation.
The destruction of only wrong things would make a path for the right things in life. So, even after facing so many spectacles in life, Virat Kohli came out as the flagbearer of succession and to become a better person following the principles of Lord Shiva.
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Next to the tattoo of Lord Shiva is a tattoo of a monastery on Virat’s left forearm. The life of Virat is dedicated to the monastery of 22 yards, the tattoo depicts peace of mind that helps him shine and accelerate on the cricket pitch.
4. ODI and Test cap numbers:
In 2008, Virat Kohli made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in Dambulla, becoming the 175th Indian cricketer to play for his country in ODIs. Three years later, he became the 269th Indian to represent India Test matches.
On sharing his thoughts about the significance of the events, Kohli said, “These numbers will always remain with me because when you look back at the charts 200 years from now, in front of these numbers, there will be my name. These will always be special numbers and hence I decided to get them.”
5. Tribal art:
The journey of Virat Kohli’s tattoos started with this piece of tribal design. This tribal art stands for aggression and is one of the first tattoos that the aggressive Indian captain got. After getting this tattoo as a beginner, Virat Kohli inked his body several times with a lot more meaningful and worthwhile tattoos.
6. Zodiac sign:
The self-made man was born on November 5th, 1988. Virat Kohli’s zodiac sign is Scorpio and to represent that, the run-machine got ‘Scorpio’ inked on his right arm. As the Scorpio symbolizes, it is obvious that Virat Kohli is a strong-willed person who has gone through the difficulties of life with a positive mindset.
7. Japanese Samurai:
Virat has a big tattoo of a Japanese Samurai on his left arm. The philosophy behind this tattoo is based the Bushido code of the Samurai which narrates the seven virtues of being a warrior – Gi (Justice), Yu (Courage), Jin (Benevolence), Rei (Politeness), Makoto (Honesty), Meiyo (Honor) and Chugi (Loyalty).
Kohli told how he relates his life with the Japanese Samurai tattoo. He said “I felt like these are the same characteristics that I share. I’ve had to fight for everything that I’ve got in life so far, and I will have to be this person all my life because of the choices that I will keep making. And hence it was a representation of me wanting to do something so badly which was wanting to become a professional cricketer.”
8. God’s eye:
On the right shoulder of an ace right-hand batsman, there’s a big tattoo of a celestial eye. Virat explained that why it’s so close to his heart, “I call it the God’s eye. So, basically, the all-seeing eye. That everything that’s happening is being watched and there’s someone always keeping a count of everything that you do. So that makes you feel connected in a way and also, that makes you understand the essence of life and what we need to do as human beings and what our eventual goal is.”
9. Om symbol:
About the last but not the least, the latest tattoo Virat Kohli said that “The last one that I have here is finished with an Om symbol, which is the universal sound, which is probably the most consistent thing in the whole universe. Anywhere you observe sounds of the universe that is, you know, what is the most consistent sound that you will hear and that is the essence of life. To understand you’re not even a dust particle in the universe and sometimes our ego allows us to think that we’re everything. So, I think it’s quite astonishing and quite magnificent in a lot of ways. I’ve started to understand that now… So, I have started to realize strongly that I’m meant to be where I am and this is not random.”
# His mantra for life:
In his revelation, he not only explained the reason behind his tattoos but also shared his mantra for life – “I don’t need to look any further than both my arms to understand where I was and where I’ve come now. The only focus I have in life right now is to be able to impact people’s lives in a positive way. It needs to be so simple for you to be able to unleash your best self. And you have to go to the basics what we call in cricket. I think it applies to life as well. There’s no rocket science, there’s no secret to it.”